The Abacos, The Bahamas

Natural, untamed and still undeveloped. The islands of Abaco are the boating capital of the Bahamas and a Caribbean vacation playground.

The Abacos are a group of islands and cays in the northern Bahamas that form a 130-mile–long chain stretching over 650 square miles. The coastlines are scalloped with bays, coves and protected harbors that feature full-service marinas and resorts. Great Abaco Island and Little Abaco serve as the "mainland and form together with Elbow Cay, Lubbers Quarters Cay, Green Turtle Cay, Great Guana Cay, Man-o-War Cay and Walker's Cay, amongst others a 130-mile chain of islands and cays that stretches in a curve from Walker's Cay in the north to Hole in the Wall in the south. The Abacos are home to the world's third largest barrier reef system which runs almost 100 miles from Walker's Cay to about 20 miles south of Elbow Cay.  The reef system and the many cays combine to create The Sea of Abaco, one of the world’s safest and most exciting cruising and fishing grounds and an underwater playground for outstanding diving and snorkeling for which the Abacos are also known as the boating capital of the world where boating, fishing, diving, snorkeling, golfing and taking it easy are the favorite pastimes of locals and visitors. The best way to explore this multitude of islands is by water. There are several reliable ferry systems with regular service to the bigger cays or you rent a boat, or arrange for a charter with a knowledgeable local captain. Set sail for a picnic on a deserted beach, snorkel an unexplored reef, or cruise into port for dinner. There’s no limit to what you will discover. One could spend weeks on this island and still not see all of the natural beauty there is to explore on Abaco.

Treasure Cay Beach boasts miles of pristine beaches, including one of the top 10 beaches in the world and is the ideal location for your island adventures. It is in the center of Great Abaco close to the places to see and only 7 miles from Treasure Cay’s international airport. Treasure Cay Beach, Marina & Golf Resort offers one of the most protected full service marina of the Bahamas for those arriving by boat as well as a championship golf course, 2 restaurant, 3 bars and a coffee bar. There is al…….

Green Turtle Cay and the loyalist settlement of New Plymouth with its beautifully preserved colonial architecture with a touch of Bahamian pastels is a must see The village of New Plymouth offers numerous historically-oriented discoveries, including its 200+ year old cemetery, the island's original jail, a rather amazing model schooner crafting shop, the Loyalist Memorial Sculpture Garden (bronze busts of Bahamian historical figures) and the Albert Lowe Museum (artifacts, displays and paintings depicting the life of the Loyalists who settled there more than 200 years ago from the newly independent American colonies). . There are also small gift shops, restaurants, churches and many beautiful beaches. Green Turtle's southernmost point "The Bumps" offers exceptional shelling.

Elbow Cay and the picturesque settlement of Hope Town is famous for its beautiful Bahamian architecture and its historic, red and white light house, which is still operated by kerosene candle power. It is well worth the effort to climb the lighthouse’s 101 steps for a breathtaking view of Parrot Cays and Elbow Cay’s harbor!. There is no motorized traffic in the town center, the narrow streets are lined with island art, crafts, and gifts, and small grocery stores ,bakeries and restaurants. The Wyannie Malone Museum which is located in one of the oldest houses and which is named after the settlement's founder houses the rich history of Hopetown and Elbow Cay, displaying fascinating artifacts that date back to the earliest settlers. On the ocean side, just a short walk from the harbor, are beautiful beaches where you can go snorkeling just off the beach or you can rent a golf cart and explore the rest of this beautiful island. Elbow Cay is unique in its diversity, and offers a real potpourri of island style diversions.

Manjack Cay is located about 30 boat-minutes north of Treasure Cayand dotted with a half-dozen superb beaches and secluded coves, this virtually uninhabited island is a perfect place for a picnic. On the Southeastern side of the island, a dock leads to a well-marked and clearly identified Nature Trail. Manjack's "nature walk" will give a curious island lover a relatively comprehensive "bush" education on everything from Poisonwood (the Abaconian version of poison ivy - very easy to spot!) to the Gummilemmi Tree.

No Name Cay is only 15 minutes away from Treasure Cay. This cay is home to friendly wild boars! On the ocean side of the island is a barrier reef for snorkeling or fishing.

Great Guana Cay offers some of the most spectacular beaches in the world and great snorkeling. It is also home to Baker’s Bay an upscale community with a marina, restaurant & real estate office and gift shop. The island is also home of the famous Nippers bar and restaurant. The Sunday Nippers wild pig roast is a must do event!

Man O War Cay is about 45 minutes from Treasure Cay.  This is a quaint settlement that has its roots set deeply in Bahamian history. It is known for its boat building history that is several hundred years old.  This tradition is still alive and the famous Albury Brothers Boats are worldwide recognized. There are a couple of small gift and art shop as well as the Sail Shop, which offers visitors the opportunity to observe the process of sails and canvas bags being created. Man-O-War is quite a conservative, family-oriented town. It is a “dry” island; there are no liquor stores but the many colorful restaurants, shops, bakeries, quaint churches and a lovely beach offer plenty to do and see.

Marsh Harbour and Boat Harbor are popular destinations not for beaches, but for duty free shopping for liquor, jewelry and the many gift shops and bars

Little Harbour provides an excellent, extremely picturesque and almost land-locked anchorage surrounded by approximately 1.5 miles of virgin beach and some rather amazing water. Little Harbour is also home to Pete Johnston and his Gallery, Studio and Foundry. Pete is the son of the internationally acclaimed bronze & wood sculptor, Randolph Johnston and carries on his father's tradition admirably. Pete's Pub and its owner's sculpture are about as genuine and unique as it ever gets. Uncrowded even by Abaco standards, Little Harbour, Pete Johnston's Gallery & Foundry and Pete's Pub make the 45 drive from Marsh Harbour definitely worth the trip! Diving, snorkeling, shelling, cave exploring are just of a few of the pastimes in Abaco Little Harbour. You’ll need plenty of local knowledge to get into the Harbour, or lots of skilled seamanship and an excellent eye for Bahamian waters. However, it’s well worth the extra effort!